Stocks end mostly higher, capping strong week of gains

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Stocks booked small gains Friday as investors prepared for the three-day Memorial Day weekend, capping a strong week for equities as investor optimism over the lifting of lockdowns and prospects for a COVID-19 vaccine provided a lift. Investor cheer was dampened somewhat by signs of renewed tensions between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong, and Beijing’s handling of the pandemic earlier this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell around 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to finish near 24,465, according to preliminary figures, leaving the blue-chip gauge with a weekly rise of 3.3%. The S&P 500 rose around 7 points, or 0.2%, ending near 2,955, while the Nasdaq Composite added around 40 points, or 0.4%, closing near 9,325. The S&P 500 saw a weekly rise of 3.2%, while the Nasdaq advanced 3.4%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.